In class, we are going to begin discussing the books referred to as “apocryphal” or “deuterocanonical.” “Apocrypha” is a slightly more negative term used by Protestants who do not consider these texts canonical. “Deuterocanonical” is the term preferred by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who do count these texts as canonical. The word means something along the lines of “second canon.”
I know that many of you grew up in different religious traditions. Did anyone ever tell you that Catholics had added books to the Bible? Or, did anyone ever tell you that Protestants had taken some out? What were the reasons that they gave as to why? Or, did they not give any reasons at all?
Two of the most difficult texts for some modern thinkers to reconcile in the entire Old Testament are:
2 Samuel 24:1 – “Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.””
1 Chronicles 21:1 – “Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.”
Apparently the two books differ on who incited David to take a particular census. But, ancient interpreters sought ways to reconcile texts like this. So, try to enter into their mindset. Can you think of ways in which both of these verses can be true at the same time? Feel free to consult external sources if you’d like.
Ecclesiastes 7 contains two of the more controversial verses in the Old Testament. It’s verse 16:
15 In my vain life I have seen everything; there are righteous people who perish in their righteousness, and there are wicked people who prolong their life in their evildoing. 16 Do not be too righteous, and do not act too wise; why should you destroy yourself? 17 Do not be too wicked, and do not be a fool; why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of the one, without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God shall succeed with both.
What do you think the author means in context?
In class on Monday, we will discuss Psalm types. Choose a psalm and state which type of Psalm you believe it is and why as per our discussion in class.
As per class on Monday, there are no blog discussions this week since you have a test on Friday. Happy studies! 😉